Betty’s Burgers & Concrete, Melbourne
Bright and shiny, I love the addition of Betty’s Burgers & Concrete to Elizabeth Street. Super buzzy and it still has the new restaurant smell about it. Food-wise there’s some potential but the menu needs kinks to be worked out and $5 for a small size of basic shoestring fries is outrageous (+$2 for aioli). I didn’t try the token concretes due to sugar consciousness but they did sound rather delightful. Crispy chicken burger mostly good but the wild lashing of sauce didn’t quite make the chicken crispy. The addition of bacon helps the meal escape otherwise mundaneness but the fries we had weren’t served hot, which was the biggest disappointment. Reasonably good but needs some shaking up and heating up to compete with the burger scene here.
A few people have remarked on the weird service and it is really weird although not ever uncomfortable. It seems to want to be a fast food joint and then it wants to be something more fancy. We stomped through the menu and I chose the Crispy Chicken ($11) with southern fried chicken, lettuce, tomato, special sauce and a side of fries ($5) with aioli ($7). Served simply with “sea salt seasoning” (cringe) $7 for the chips and dip is a terrible pricing mechanism. Though most offensive is the fact they were lukewarm on arrival. Ahh!
The crispy chicken burger was enticing at first glance, with flowing butter lettuce crispy patty and my special addition of an extra side of bacon. You get quite a few rinds (and pickles) for the five dollar extra so that’s worthwhile. The burger was very hard to eat with the sauce and wet tomatoes concentrated on the behind half of the burger. Wasn’t thrilled with that as it made the crispy chicken patty into a non-crispy chicken patty. Without the bacon it would have been a rather boring burger. The place still has the glow of newness so it should stay busy for a little while, but will be interested how they pick up their game to compete with the high bar of Melbourne’s burgers.